Note: The Resonance Board is a very inexpensive piece of equipment that can be used alone and with a variety of other pieces of equipment such as the Little Room, Support Bench and Essef Board. The Resonance Board is the perfect place to let a child explore a box full of different objects or as a place to have an adult-child interaction with the adult either offering objects or imitating what the child does with the object. Below are Dr. Nielsen's design specifications.
By: Dr. Lilli Nielsen
The Resonance Board is made of 4 mm plywood size 150 x 150 cm (120 x 120 cm if the child is very small.) Along the edge of the underside you apply a wooden strip, which is 2 x 2 cm. It is very important to apply the strip along the edge and that the strip is not wider than 2 cm. If the board is correctly made, it has the following qualities. The sounds that the child produces on the sounding board will be transmitted through the fibers of the wood and will be felt by the child on other parts of his/her body. The sounds will get a prolonged and a reinforced effect, which is important to the child’s motivation for increased activity.
The weight of the child will result in a little bending of the board downwards, which will make beads roll back that were made to roll to the edge of the board by the body movements of the child. This is a prolonged reaction to the child’s activities. The air gap also has an insolated effect to the cold floor. Children and adults will not get as tired throughout their bodies while sitting on it, due to its adaptability.
The child will get an opportunity to develop an understanding of space by learning a little about the limited “room” which the resonance board represents. He/she will start moving about on the board. This will constitute a good basis for the motivation of the child to use the space outside of the sounding board, and by means of this, he/she will start moving from one place to another.
When using the resonance board for the first time, the adult should sit down on the board with the child in his/her lap. Make contact with the board by making small sounds on the board. Inform the child, and make a little stronger sound. Slowly move the child’s body down onto the board. Not until then, when you have made sure that the child is secure and made to feel at home in the situation should you start putting objects under the hands of the child, around the child, under the feet of the child, under the head of the child. By observing the reactions of the child you will decide how far to get the first time, when the child is able to lie alone on the board and for how long.
Resonance Boards are available for purchase from Lilliworks.com, but can be hand-made as well.